This Spring and Summer seasons are everyone's favorite time of the year. Summer time however, puts us at greater risk for accidents with 81 percent of the non-combat fatalities last year happening in the Summer period. Motorcycles contributed to 47 accidents, this is the number one cause of fatalities among our ranks.

ALL leaders are reminded to conduct safety briefings for all personnel that include highway safety, seat belt usage, fatigue avoidance, and the consequences of drinking and driving. Traffic accidents are the biggest source of injury and death and the highest numbers are from motorcycles. Please plan for adequate rest stops and avoid overnight driving, this is essential to reducing accidents caused by lack of sleep. Designated drivers should be assigned when parties involve the consumption of alcohol. Please, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.

I remind all Soldiers, the use of TRiPS on-line POV risk assessment tool is mandatory for all personnel on leave, pass, or TDY. I also encourage our civilian employees to use it. The TRiPS POV risk assessment tool may be found at

As a part of your holiday planning, please also consider the following:

• Before leaving on vacation, have your vehicle checked to make sure it's safe.
• When you buy gas, always spend a few minutes on simple maintenance (oil/fluids).
• Obey all signs and signals, including speed limits, traffic lights, stop signs, railway crossings, and pedestrians in crosswalks.
• Many accidents are caused by distracted drivers using cell phones while driving. Always use a hands free device.
• Seat belts must always be worn by all passengers. It's the law.
• Swim in supervised areas only, and don't mix alcohol and swimming. alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination.
• Before you go out on a boat, check weather forecasts and tide charts.
• Operate charcoal grills only outdoors, never inside an enclosed area, Be sure to keep all propane tanks upright, and move gas hoses away from dripping grease and hot surfaces.
• Be Safe and careful when participating in water related activities, boating, kayaking, etc.

I hope all of you have a safe Summer season. We need to be "ON SAFETY" when "ON and "OFF-DUTY".

Major General, U.S. Army